Paraffins (C9-C17), Normal
You can purchase from this page directly by clicking the 'Purchase' link below.
If you haven't previously registered, you will be taken through a registration process as part of the purchase procedure.
Reports are provided electronically as pdf files. We attempt to email full report pdf files to your registered e-mail address.
Global enterprise-wide online access for a period of one year from date of purchase is also available.
Please contact us using the sales link found to the right on this page for additional information on this option, or if you would prefer not to purchase online.
Published: March 2013
For this report, normal paraffins are linear, aliphatic hydrocarbons of C9-C17 chain lengths that are usually separated from kerosene or gas oil fractions of crude oil using molecular sieves. Their major use is as raw material for the production of olefins or monochloroparaffins used to manufacture linear alkylbenzene (LAB). LAB, almost all of which is converted to the surfactant linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) and its salts, accounts for at least 70% of world consumption of n-paraffins. Most of the remainder is sold to the detergent alcohol, chloroparaffin, solvents and lubricants markets.
With ExxonMobil Chemical Company closing its n-paraffins plant in the United States, the North American region turned into a net importer of n-paraffins, importing mainly from Western Europe. In Qatar, a new Fischer-Tropsch unit using gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology came onstream in 2011-2012, providing more economical supplies of n-paraffins for LAB producers in the region and for exports to Asia.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of normal paraffins:
The great majority of n-paraffins are used to make LAB (70%). The use of n-paraffins to make detergent alcohols is limited to Europe and relatively small plants in Japan. Similarly, many smaller uses of n-paraffins (e.g., to make paraffin sulfonates and poly-internal-olefins) are limited to either Europe and/or Japan.
There is unlikely to be any growth for n-paraffins in the United States and Canada, after the ExxonMobil plant closure in the United States. Western Europe and Japan are also unlikely to account for any significant growth during 2012-2017. However, growth in paraffin consumption will continue in the developing regions, especially in the Middle East, Africa, China, India and other East Asian countries. Most of this demand, however, will be met by the existing and new paraffin capacity in East Asia and the Middle East, rather than by any expansion of plants in the developed countries.
For more than ten years, there has been an increase in merchant sales of n-paraffins to new LAB plants in the developing world. At the same time, supplies of traditional feedstocks that are rich in n-paraffins have declined. The increasing demand and tighter supplies of these feedstocks, combined with sharply rising crude oil prices in 2003-2008, led to large price increases. In turn, these developments have led to increases in downstream LAB prices that have made LAB somewhat less competitive with detergent alcohols in household detergent applications. During the economic crisis in 2009, prices dropped substantially with lower crude oil and kerosene prices. However, raw material prices started increasing again in 2010-2012, resulting in higher n-paraffin prices.